RTE: Irish rugby union to be renamed after ‘LGBTQIQ’ footballer
RTE Ireland’s rugby union team will be renamed in recognition of the LGBTIQ community, with the name “RTE Ulster” set to be retired after the 2021 season.
The team will now be known as “Reeves Rugby Union” to reflect the rugby union’s diversity, after RTE’s new LGBTIQ website launched last year.
The RTE Ulster website describes the new name as “an inclusive and inclusive-minded team”.
The name has been approved by the Rugby Union Board of Directors.
The Rugby Union Commission (RUC), a body set up to regulate and control rugby union, is to take a “close look” at the proposal.
It will consider the name change, as well as other aspects of the proposal, before deciding on its next steps.
The name change has been opposed by a group of Irish gay rights organisations.
The Ulster Rugby Union was founded in 1972, but its history has been marked by homophobia.
In March 2014, the RUC suspended the team from all competition for three years after a gay couple were attacked and spat on by a mob at their hotel in County Armagh.
Last year, RTE aired a documentary called “The Stonewall Story”, in which actor Michael Caine portrayed gay people in Ireland during the 1960s and 70s.
In the documentary, the gay rights organisation Stonewalls claimed that Irish rugby was “an apartheid state in which gay people are criminalised”.
The RUC responded by calling the documentary “hilarious”, and called on the RTE to apologise for the attack.RTE said that while they were “not pleased” by the RUV’s decision, it was “only a matter of time” before the team was restored.
“We’re all for diversity and inclusion,” said RTE sport editor Michael Doyle.
“I think that’s what we need, but the way it’s been approached has been very disappointing.”
Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for the RSU.